The Norwegian Institute of Public Health was informed of a confirmed case of monkeypox in the county of Viken.
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The samples were analysed at Oslo University Hospital.
The infected person lives in Viken and had recently travelled abroad. The case is linked to the ongoing outbreak in Europe. The patient developed symptoms upon their return and contacted the healthcare service. They are being followed up by the healthcare service according to the appropriate guidelines.
The healthcare service in the patient’s municipality has carried out contact tracing together with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The risk for further transmission is considered to be extremely low.
Any close contacts to the patient are being contacted and are being asked to monitor their symptoms, and to ring their doctor or out-of-hours emergency clinic if they develop symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever and feeling generally unwell, followed by a rash and swelling of the lymph nodes.
“It is not unexpected that we would have a case of monkeypox in Norway, and the healthcare service is prepared for it,” says Dr Helena Niemi Eide at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has developed routines and recommendations for how the healthcare service should handle people who may be infected.
Oslo University Hospital has established diagnostics for the monkeypox virus. The first samples are also being sent to the Public Health Agency of Sweden for quality control.
Monkeypox causes fever and a rash that resembles chickenpox. Most people recover without treatment. A severe disease course is rare. Monkeypox is very rarely fatal. The disease is transmitted from animals (primarily rodents) to humans but can also be transmitted between humans via contact with rashes and / or droplets.
The virus is transmitted primarily through close contact. Monkeypox is most common in some countries in West and Central Africa, but there is now an ongoing outbreak in several countries. ■